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Ladoja accuses Ajimobi of racking up N68b debt 

A former governor of Oyo State, Sen. Rashidi Ladoja, has accused Governor Abiola Ajimobi of plunging the state into a N68 billion debt.

Ladoja is the governorship candidate of Accord in the next month election.
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The former governor, who spoke through the Director General of his campaign organization, Hon. Adeolu Adeleke, while addressing reporters at the weekend, said debt is owed two unnamed third-generation banks.
But the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state challenged Ladoja to name the banks, describing the accusation as a cheap propaganda.
Ladoja said the debt was incurred by the banks on account of a deal that warranted the financial institutions undertaking to finance the road expansion projects embarked upon by state government but which he alleged, are now abandoned.
He explained that one of the banks is being owed N50 billion, while the Ajimobi-led government is indebted to the other by N17 billion.The N67 billion debt, according to Ladoja, is in addition to a multi-billion bond already secured by the government.The DG said the figure was part of a preliminary investigation by his party, Accord, on the debt profile of the state under the government of Senator Abiola Ajimobi as of June 2014.

On the N500 million Ajimobi said he refunded to the state government, Ladoja wondered why the former waited for this long before talking about the issue.

“February 14 and 28, 2015 are judgment days for Ajimobi’s government and his propaganda team. On those days, the good people of Oyo State, who have been traumatized and dehumanised by the APC government, will speak in clear terms by voting out a bad government.

“Two of the bank drafts purportedly connecting Senator Ladoja with the false refund of money bore the dates: May 2, 2008 and May 7, 2008. But Senator Ladoja, confident that his integrity is intact, submitted himself to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on August 8, 2008.
“What then is the nexus between the drafts published and Senator Ladoja? Could Ladoja have ‘refunded’ money before he went to the EFCC? If indeed there was actually any plea bargaining as alleged, why is the matter still in court? Is the APC not aware that the case is with the Supreme Court?
“Ajimobi also claims that the money he purportedly recovered from Ladoja through the EFCC is being used to build model schools in the state. But our perusal of the 2014 budget estimates did not show the inclusion of the recovered money in the budget.
“We challenge Governor Ajimobi to waive his immunity and invite the EFCC and ICPC to probe his government and look at the books of government. A kilometre of road is awarded for N1 billion in Oyo State and the same contractor gets a kilometre of road for N400 million in Ogun State.
“The intention obviously for Ajimobi is to tarnish the ever-soaring image of Ladoja, who has become his political nemesis, ahead of the February judgment day. But we are glad that his effort was a monumental fiasco,” Adeleke said.

Reacting, The All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state said that the ancient propaganda style employed by the Accord Party will not work in the 2015 elections.

It spoke through its Director of Publicity, Mr. Olawale Shadare, in a reaction to a claim by the Accord Party that its part-led government was owing N67billion.

“Ladoja and his party use the traditional hunger for news of journalists to pass across his childish propaganda and ill-digested lies. The question journalists should ask him is the name of the so-called banks the state government is owing. It is only journalists whom the profession gives the license to hide the names of sources and important institutions, not desperate politicians. Let him quote the names of the banks and the amounts being owed them so that journalists can go to the banks and cross-check. Even political propaganda has left such infantile level,” said the APC.

Restating that Ladoja was merely pursuing shadows, the APC said that the Accord Party and its leader could not fathom how government could have such huge infrastructural achievements without borrowing a penny from anywhere.

“To underscore the penchant for untruth of the Accord Party, the Oyo State government, in spite of dwindling allocations from the federal government, as at today, has paid the December salaries of workers in the state and is one of the few states of the federation that has done so. Only contractors who have not completed their works are yet to collect full payment,” the party said.

The party said if indeed the state government was owing that much, it is against reason for Ladoja to be fighting a battle of his life as this to become governor of such a state.

“It is equivocation of the highest order. If the state government was owing that amount of money, it goes without saying that anyone who wants to come on board would not perform as he would be battling to pay back debts. Why is Ladoja fighting the battle of his life to become governor if the government he is coming to administer is in this kind of debt? The party and its leader are too intellectually shallow to understand the implication of this childlike allegation of theirs,” said the APC.  

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